Concrete Flooring: A Solid Option for Your Home or Business
Since 5600 B.C., concrete has been used for a variety of applications, from roads in the Balkans to pyramids in Egypt to aqueducts in Rome. Nowadays, concrete is ubiquitous, with both practical and aesthetic qualities that make it indispensable. In the early 20th century, coloured and stamped concrete became popular. Decades later, polished concrete came into fashion — all due to a mistake on the job. Concrete flooring remains a solid, classy option for homes and businesses.
For many reasons, homeowners and businesses are embracing polished concrete in increasing numbers.
Durability: Polished concrete is extremely durable and doesn’t chip or stain. It is the perfect material for high-traffic areas in homes and for garages, warehouses, showrooms, and other businesses that have a lot of demand placed on their flooring.
Also, properly installed and maintained polished concrete can last a lifetime, certainly outlasting any other flooring option. Over time, some of the shine may wear, but if it’s well cared for and harsh chemicals are not applied, it will look new for decades to come.
Easy Maintenance: No other flooring is this easy to look after — simply dust, mop, or sweep as necessary and damp mop it once a week to remove smudges or scuff marks. These floors require no polishing or waxing either. Some types of polished concrete may require special maintenance, but a concrete polishing expert or installer can advise you on how to care for your floors.
Cost-Effective: Polished concrete flooring can be quite cost-effective, particularly if you have an existing concrete slab that’s ready for staining, polishing, or other decorative application. It’s comparable to other flooring costs in some instances, but the savings come throughout its lifetime. You’ll really only have to replace it if you get tired of the aesthetic; it’s there to stay.
Healthy: Concrete flooring is a sealed surface and virtually resistant to fluids. The coatings used — like epoxy or polyaspartic — provide waterproof barriers that seal the concrete and prevent any contaminants from seeping in. A good quality seal shouldn’t have any cracks or seams where dirt and food can get trapped. Well-coated floors reduce the worry and risks of hidden mould and bacteria growing underneath.
Chemical Resistant: Concrete itself is porous, but sealing it with an epoxy or polyaspartic coating protects it from corrosive chemicals that can damage the floors and your health.
No VOCs: Cement flooring contains no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), unlike most carpeting, hardwood, and laminate flooring options. VOCs are responsible for negative health effects such as eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, loss of coordination, and nausea. Liver, kidney, and central nervous system damage can also occur. It clearly makes sense to avoid or, at the very least, reduce VOCs in our living and working spaces.
Sustainability: In so many ways, concrete floors are remarkably sustainable. The materials used often include both waste by-products and limestone, one of the most abundant minerals on earth. Concrete applications can incorporate other recycled materials into the design (such as glass, plastics, and other interesting items). The floors don’t need to be replaced as often as other flooring options due to their longevity, reducing waste. Concrete floors also absorb warmth from the sun and reflect light (as mentioned above), resulting in lower energy costs.
Thermal Shock Resistance: Concrete is able to withstand sudden changes in temperature, making it an excellent choice for flooring. The coatings applied to polished concrete protect it from cracks and bubbles, and prevent deterioration should it come into contact with very hot water or steam washing.
Static Reduction: Sealed and polished concrete floors can have anti-static coatings applied to ensure that no static discharge occurs around sensitive equipment or in areas where fuel or other combustibles are stored.
Easy Installation: Polishing an existing concrete floor takes little time, and once it’s dry you can walk on it immediately. Most residential jobs take about 2 to 3 days. There are a few factors that an installer will take into account to give you a time estimate. Some of those include:
- Project size
- Accessibility of location
- Condition of existing floor
- Job complexity (e.g., colour, stamping, etc.)
- Time frame between each step, such as stain coats or sealer coats
Beauty: These gorgeous floors add timeless beauty to homes and a solid, welcoming look to your business. They compliment practically any furniture choice and they’re warm, clean, and inviting. With so many design choices, a unique look is possible and can add value to your property.
Polished concrete floors are extremely popular right now. Once relegated to subfloor and more utilitarian roles, concrete flooring is having a renaissance. Its warmth and practical elegance make this a flooring option that’s bound to remain a top choice for many home and business owners.
Looking to discover the beauty of polished concrete for your home or business? For concrete polishing and protective needs in the GTA, contact Concrete Epoxy 101. We pride ourselves on efficient, high-quality work at affordable rates. Call us at (416) 838-5188 for your free estimate.
Related article: Safeguard Your Concrete Floors from Chemical Damage